Friday, November 21, 2008

Spilled the Beans

A couple of days ago I told my supervisor and my team that I was pregnant. Yesterday I told my "boss", the head of my division, and my former supervisor/friend. I wasn't planning on telling quite so soon, but events conspired (I will not bore you with the details) and I decided it would just be easier to tell.
It felt really weird. When I was pregnant with my daughter, almost 7 years ago, I was so excited and after we saw her heartbeat the first time I had no concerns about the pregnancy. This time I just can't get comfortable with the idea that everything's going to work out. Everytime I see the heartbeat this time I feel relieved, but it usually only lasts for about 24 to 48 hours and then the panic sets in. However, while it felt very weird to tell, now I'm kind of relieved that I don't have to keep going about my days feeling like I've got a big secret. Plus, if something bad happens from here on out, I'll be so depressed and won't be able to hide it, so might as well have people know why.

We still haven't made a decision about the amnio yet. In fact, we really haven't talked much about it at all. I'm just so torn about it AND I'm tired, have a horrible cold, and have had chronic headaches for weeks now, so I really don't feel like talking about ANYTHING at the end of the day. I suppose we'll have to really face it this weekend, but for another day I'm going to put it out of my mind.

On the bright side, I'm glad it's Friday and I'm excited to be getting out of town for the holiday next week. Looking forward to the mashed potatoes and stuffing!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Decisions, Decisions (warning: Pregnancy AND Kid stuff)

So I FINALLY talked with the nurse today and got the full results of the nuchal translucency scan and blood test.

In a nutshell everything looks good.

For those of you with inquiring minds...

Based on my age alone the risk of having a baby with Downs is 1 in 105.
After the scan and bloodwork results the risk is 1 in 2061 (same as a 21 year old)

Based on my age alone the risk of having a baby with other Trisomies is 1 in 189.
After the scan and bloodwork results the risk is 1 in 3761 (same as a 20 year old).

This is great news, but of course makes the decision about additional testing, well, agonizing.

The odds of a miscarriage with a CVS or Amnio are arguably higher than my new odds of having a baby with a trisomy. Makes this a much trickier calculation in reality than it was in theory. I've always said I'd have an amnio. I really want that 100% certainty, but I confess I'm on the fence now and my husband is definitely leaning to the no testing side.

So, we have some soul searching to do in the next couple of days, but we're certainly happy to have gotten such good news.


In other unrelated news, my daughter lost her first tooth last Friday. Oddly, she's so attached to it that she refuses to relinquish it to the tooth fairy. The night it feel out she was holding it and saying goodbye (I couldn't make this up if I tried!), so I offered to take a picture of it for her. After we got the photo and she tucked it under her pillow she burst into tears. We finally convinced her that she was not required to let the tooth fairy take it. I offered to place it safely in her jewelry box, but she was still concerned that the tooth fairy would find it. After about 10 more minutes we finally had her convinced that the tooth fairy only looks under pillows. The next morning she announced that she might be ready to let the tooth fairy take it that night. But that was the last she mentioned it, and the tooth remains safely hidden in her jewelry box.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Annoyed but Happy

Here I am at 12 weeks 4 days. Yesterday was my appointment for my NT scan. The appointment did not go well, but not because there's anything wrong. In the end we were relieved to see the heartbeat again and happy to hear from the sonographer, nurse practitioner, and the doctor that the everything looked great on the scan. Unfortunately, in every other way the appointment was incredibly frustrating.

First the baby would not cooperate so halfway through the scan I had to get up, guzzle a soda (for the sugar), and walk around for 5 minutes in hopes that the baby would move so they could see what needed to be seen. Didn't seem to work, but at the last minute the tech got what she needed.

Then after another 15 minutes in the waiting room, they call me back to ask me for the 4th time if I'd had my NT bloodwork done previously. For the 4th time in an hour I explained that, as they'd instructed, I'd been in the office exactly 2 weeks earlier for a blood draw. After 30 minutes, many phone calls to the office and the lab, and a few tears on my part, they determined that IF the nurse had actually done the proper blood test (which seemed questionable), the results were nowhere to be found. So, while we were reassured by everyone that the results of the scan were great, we weren't actually able to get the complete results that we'd been expecting. So they took more blood and the nurse promised to call the lab in hopes of getting the results back a little sooner.

In addition to being pissed off about the mixup with the bloodwork and not getting the full results, the delay in getting the test results means that CVS is ruled out if we wanted to see the results before deciding on Amnio vs. CVS. That's because by the time we get the results I'll be too far along.

By the time we were ushered down the hall to see the doctor, I was still annoyed, but I was actually calming down and looking forward to seeing the doctor and asking all my questions.

And that's when the worst part of the appointment started. I'm still so disgusted about the way the doctor dealt with us that I'm practically shaking just thinking about it! In fact, the more time that goes by the angrier I get.

It started of ok, she was thoughtful enough to apologize for the bloodwork snafu and told us that the results of the scan were beautiful. Then she asked if we had any questions and it went downhill from there. I told her that we were having trouble deciding between CVS and Amnio, and quickly asked if CVS was no longer an option if we wanted to wait for the results of the bloodwork. She confirmed that the CVS wasn't really an option, but then instead of giving us any information on amnio she proceeded to lecture us on how we really needed to think about what we would do with the information we'd get from the test. I have no problem with her saying that, but when we tried to press her on some what ifs with regard to the blood tests and ask her questions on some other upcoming tests, she just kept deflecting our answers and told us we need to stop thinking about worst case scenarios! I actually did say to her that we aren't assuming that something bad will happen, but I am 39 and we want to be prepared and have thought about what we might do given the possibility of something bad. She continued to poo-poo our questions and was blatantly rude to my husband. We finally gave up and left. Since the CVS is ruled out, we will be doing an Amnio, but I'm still furious about the way she treated us.

End of vent (here anyway, it continues in my head at an alarming pitch)!

But again, overall we were happy with the news about the baby and I made my husband take me for my favorite burrito (Crunchy Barbeque Ranch!) for a celebratory lunch afterward.

Now I need to weigh the pros and cons of finding another high-risk practice. Sigh!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Still Hurts

Interesting how little things can still hurt.

Deep down I have known for some time that even if this pregnancy is successful, there will always be a part of me that will be a little bit bitter and jealous when I see a woman with a pregnant belly or a family with 3 or more kids. Even though I know that some of them may have endured what I've been through, or worse, the fact of the matter is that the vast majority of women don't suffer through infertility or repeated miscarriages. While I have come to "know" a lot of women who do thanks to this wonderfully supportive online community. IRL most of the women I know haven't had to deal with these issues.

Of course, it is true that my bitterness and jealousy tend to be reserved for strangers (or people I don't like ;). With good friends who I care about those emotions tend to fade.

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned here that my sister-in-law is pregnant. We've known since very early on. This weekend I found out through my other sister-in-law that she's having a boy. Hearing the news over the phone that way -- from the other SIL-- didn't really affect me too much. But for some reason when I checked our email the other day and saw "It's A Boy!" in one of the subject lines, it took my breath away. Now, I should say that this has not been an easy pregnancy for them and it follows on a couple of miscarriages, so I'm sure they are incredibly happy to have gotten this far and to be able to share such happy news. And I am truly happy for them. I think maybe that being able to hear the unbridled joy of that message just made me sad because we still feel like we have a long way to go before we get there.

I really didn't mean to make this another "I'm so scared... whoa is me" post. Really I was just surprised at my own reaction to some news that I already knew.

On the Bright Side

Ok, here's my effort to at least occassionally post about something positive.

1) I wasn't going to discuss the election here, since this is not a political blog, but for me the result of yesterday's election is just too fabulous to ignore. While I'm sad, angry and discouraged by the votes on the same-sex ballot measures across the country, overall I feel hopeful about our government and our country for the first time in a very, very, very long time.

2) Throughout my protracted illness* my husband has been wonderful. He was already so stressed about the pregnancy (I really think he's more worried than I am), the election, and stuff at work that he hasn't been sleeping well for weeks. Nevertheless he's been taking great care of me and our daughter. Given his own stress, I wouldn't have been surprised if pulling all the weight at home AND taking care of me for a week made him a little grumpy (I probably would be), but he's been truly terrific.

*As I type this my throat is still sore, but all in all I'm feeling MUCH better!

3) We had my daughter's parent-teacher conference the other day and it went very well. I love my child and she is funny and sweet and full of life. She can also be a pain in the a$$ and we continue to work on her behavior and listening skills. In addition, she is the youngest kid in her class and NOT mature for her age. Also, in kindergarten last year, she seemed to be having trouble with math. Anyway, the preliminary assessment we got in the mail did not look good regarding her behavior and it was pretty hard to tell about the academics. So I was pretty apprehensive about the meeting. Anyway, turns out that yes, we do still need to work on the listening skills, being quiet when others are talking, etc. BUT her teacher said a couple of things that greatly put my mind at ease. 1) She's already seen improvement in our daughter's classroom behavior since school started; and 2) The behavioral "issues" are well within the range of normal and nothing to be concerned about. And lastly, her reading and writing skills are well beyond what they expect for first graders and her math skills are perfectly on track. For reasons I can't explain, I'd also been kind of worried that the teacher didn't really like our daughter. It was pretty clear from our conversation that I was way off base and she actually told us several times (with anecdotes) how much fun she is and how much she enjoys having her in her class. A mom's mind put to ease is worth millions!

Sick of Being Sick

So whatever this virus is that I have, it's not going away. I've spent the better part of the last 4 days in bed. I've been taking tylenol to help with the symptoms, but it usually only provides me about an hours worth of relief. Here's how it goes. Bottle says to take 2 every 6 hours. So I take one at say 9 am. It finally starts working at about 10 am. I feel ok until 11 and then spend the next 4 hours counting down the minutes until I can take more of something that doesn't even help that much. In addition, this illness seems to have reinstigated the indigestion and nausea that had actually been on the decline -- and now it's worse than ever! If I don't eat I feel sick, if I do eat I feel sick.

In other news. Exactly one week until my next appointment and the NT scan. It will not get here soon enough!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Trick or Treat (Warning: This one's all about my kid)

My daughter has been obsessed with babies and cats for as long as I can remember. Last year she was a cat for Halloween. This year she added her other obsession to the theme and went as a pregnant cat. For inquiring minds, here's the photographic evidence with which I will torment her when she is a teenager!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Show and Tell (Confessions) **with addendum

So, I should start by confessing that I was one of "those" women. When we started trying to get pregnant the first time (almost 8 years ago!), I assumed it would be so easy for us. Everyone in my extended family was uber fertile and I had always had regular periods and pretty much no health problems. Therefore, even before we actually started trying in earnest I shopped. Now don't get me wrong, I didn't have a fully outfitted nursery or anything, but I did have a box in the back of my closet with a few items that I just couldn't resist. While getting to baby didn't take nearly as long that first go round as our current efforts for a sibling have lasted, that box did sit in my closet for longer than I'd expected. So where's the show you ask. Here are two of the items that were stashed in that box. (In case you're wondering - yes, I do have a thing for pigs.)

Turns out, of all the stuffed animals my daughter has (and there are MANY) she has never been interested in either of those pigs.

Now for another confession. I shopped again. Not as early as before. Only after seeing the heartbeat for the third time was I giddy and optimistic enough to make a purchase. I can only hope that the next child* will like this more than my daughter likes the pigs.

For other Show and Tell entries this week click on over to Mel's Show and Tell place.

* I just re-read what I wrote and I thought "wow, that last statement sounds awfully optimistic". Yet, I'm not feeling nearly that optimistic right now. It's been 3 weeks since I've had proof that everything is ok inside. And, just to add to my worries, I've been laid up in bed for the last 3 days. Since Thursday I've had a sore throat, swollen glands, constant headache and I've been sleeping about 14 hours a day! I realize that there's probably no reason to think that such a virus will put this pregnancy at risk, but I'm just that kind of paranoid these days. I even went to the local "urgent care" center this morning because the symptoms are just not going away and I've never slept so much without having a fever before. The strep test was negative and they told me to drink fluids and get lots of rest. Ha, that's all I've done for the last 3 days! Anyway, I guess this has gone beyond a show and tell entry so I'll stop now. ;)

** I'd wondered if anyone would notice or ask about the crib in the second photo. Anonymous asked if we'd set it up already. Yes and no. We actually never took it down. When my daughter moved into the big bed in the other room when she was about 2 1/2, we were planning to start trying for baby #2 in a couple of months. Not thinking it would take so long, we just left the nursery furniture in the room. The room has since become a defacto art room for my daughter and giant storage room for me. But we've continued to leave all the baby furniture in there. One, we have no other space to store it. Two, I suppose we always figured one way (pregnancy) or another (adoption) or both we'd be using it again.